Exact casting of Michelangelo’s Pietà on display in North Dakota

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A piece of art history is now in Bismarck.

Michelangelo’s Pietà will be unveiled Saturday evening at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit.

For many who hear that sound, it signals solemnity. For those visiting the Cathedral of Holy Spirit, this piece of art is adding a little more of that feeling.

An exact casting of Michelangelo’s Pietà is now in the cathedral.

“People are going to be delightfully shocked,” said Father Joshua Ehli.

“It’s an opportunity to make a pilgrimage and to contemplate the divine and to appreciate the artistic mastery of Michelangelo,” said David Newren, president of Arte Divine.

The replica is molded from the original and is one of only 100 that will be made by the religious distributor Arte Divine.

Their mission is to place these statues all around the world.

“The Pietà is such an iconic image for Christianity and the original in St. Peters is obviously– you have to go to Rome. And most people will never do that,” said Newren.

So, why bring the statue to the people of Bismarck?

Father Ehli tells us it’s a symbol of hope.

“In a year when we’ve lost a lot of loved ones and for all who’ve lost loved ones, here’s a mother who knew the death of her son, and stands there with the sadness in her face, but with a strength,” said Father Ehli.

The Diocese of Bismarck has been working for more than a year to get the replica. Father Ehli says they’re excited to finally see it in place.

“Michelangelo who even though he did extraordinary work with the Sistine Chapel, didn’t care for painting much, loved to sculpt. So, we simply have the finest, and I’ll say it, the finest work of art arguably in the world. A one-to-one replica. You get up close and touch it. Right here for us,” said Father Ehli.

Father Ehli says they plan to keep the statue on display here at the Cathedral for a few months. After that, it will be moving to its permanent home at their new school.

Pieta translates into English as pity or compassion.

The original Pietà is more than 500 years old and sits in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

The Cathedral of the Holy Spirit will officially unveil the piece after Saturday’s 5 p.m. Mass.

They say everyone is welcome to come.

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